This is in response to Alachia’s Post the other day. Her musings made me think about my own friendship situation.
I really do not have any friends here in Denver. My one friend that I was close to when we lived here before was a friend from way back in college. Unfortunately, she passed away a couple of years after we moved. The other ‘friends’ were book club friends. I could get back in touch with them, but I don’t really think I have much in common with them.
I actually know a few people who live here that I knew in Adelaide, Australia too. We were ex-pat ‘wife friends’. These are friends that mean the world to you when you are an ex-pat and are desperate too socialize with when you are a ‘stranger’ overseas — you’re suffering from culture shock and really need those other people who are culture shocked around you. Since moving here, I have only seen two of them once each. I’m sure they are wonderful people, and I wouldn’t run away if I saw them in the supermarket, but we don’t REALLY have much in common other than having been a good support network for each other when we were ‘foreign’.
I also know a couple of people via Facebook that I was friends with at college in Wyoming about a million years ago. We made some noises about meeting up — but … meh.
Of course, I am close friends with my two super bosses – but I don’t think that counts.
I have tons of friends in Norway. Far far away friends. We aren’t wonderful at staying in touch, just Facebook, Gowalla, and the occasional email. But when we DO see each other, everything is still the same – we’re just as good friends as we were when we were living in the same city. I miss them. Same goes for my friends in Australia — I have really, really good friends in Australia … I miss them, but we don’t get on the phone or write long letters to each other or anything. And I don’t tend to go around with an aching in my heart because I miss them or anything. It’s not even really something I think about on a daily basis.
All my other friends are online. I don’t even talk to them using my voice – online written words and images. Chat rooms, Flickr, Facebook, and Buzz. Oh and tweets. Although the VAST majority of the people I follow aren’t my friends. A few I DO consider my friends though, and hopefully they know who they are. And I feel strangely closer to a few really good friends from high school and college years than I have in a really long time. And I am so grateful for Facebook for that. Friends that I have only ‘met’ in the last year or two online also can feel very special to me at times. I do call them my ‘friends’ when I speak about them.
The thing that struck me the most about Alachia’s musings on friendship is that she said she sometimes longs for the physical aspects of friendship. And I wonder if I am strange or cold-hearted since I generally don’t feel that kind of loneliness. I don’t have a longing to connect with people in real life on a daily basis. I have my family (hubbie and the boys) of course — and being there physically with them gives me all that I need in the physical realm really.
But then, again, I do think it would be very exciting to meet my online friends in the physical world, and there are a few that I wish lived closer so I could hang out with them one afternoon. But in general, the idea of having a physical friendship that I would have to nurture exhausts me. My life is already so full – working, mothering, shooting pictures, writing, and playing – I just don’t know when I’d have the TIME to take on something/one new!! Seriously, I find it exhausting just thinking about it! And I just KNOW I would fail miserably at it. I would resent ‘having to’ talk on the phone, meet up for lunch, or, God forbid! on a precious weekend! I have the occasional night out with my bosses – that keeps me pretty happy.
So, maybe I’m weird. I actually count myself LUCKY that I have such a rich social life online that I don’t NEED to cultivate real life friendships. What a whacko 🙂
Besides, I have Toulouse.